NLDA Forum for Working Lacy Dogs

Tracking Training
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Author:  jtslush [ Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Tracking Training

I ran across this seems a little different than anything I've heard or done. Looking for thoughts from some of you "Pros". Specifically the mixing blood with water part.

Decided this would be a good topic for a sticky, you bowhunters that are not bird dog or retriever owners can teach any little fido to do this.

Heres the short simple way to do it...

Basically when you gut or hang a deer try to recover blood from it and freeze it, if you have some buddies that will help get them to recover as much blood as possible everytime you or they kill a deer.

Now freeze it, film canisters or small tupperware type containers work well.

Next the training,

Put a harness on the dog this will teach the dog to associate the harness with the tracking job at hand. Use this harness for tracking and nothing else.
Now the rest is simple take the frozen containers of blood and mix them with a gallon of well water ( dont use chlorinated water) then lay a trail with a gallon milk jug with holes punched in it so the water/blood mixture drips steadily on the trail. one film canister or small cantainer of this size per gallon will work well. wear rubber boots to conceal your scent you want the dog to track the deer blood not you.

First trails should be straight and maybe 25 feet get the dog to track them, and have a reward on the end, hot dogs or any dog treat the dog likes will work. do this once each day for a few days so the dog learns that there is something real good for him at the end of the short track.

Next gradually make them a little harder first longer in a straight line the start to make right angle turns so the dog learns to backtrack and pick the trail back up.

Dogs pick this up real quick, little dogs like dachounds and small mutts work well because they are close to the ground and naturally ground trail, but labs and shorthairs learn it quick also. The nice thing about little dogs is they wont jerk your arm out of the socket trailing, a big dog in a harness can pull like you cannot believe.


The reason you are going to the trouble of collecting the blood is to teach the dog to track blood trails not deer, anywhere you kill a deer there will be lots more of them, you want the dog to track blood trails only.

When you actaully do this in the field wear orange and have some assistants that hang back if possible wearing orange also. have one of them bring a 22 pistol if legal, in case you need to dispatch one( check regs).

You can place deer road kills at the end of trails when you get to the advanced part of the training, then really praise the dog when he finds it and give him his treat.

thats about it.

Key points
1)no deer hide drags, just blood
2)dog always on lead while wearing tracking harness , otherwise the dog will leave you behind and is in danger of being shot during gun season, never use this harness for anything else but tracking.

3) you take the week or two it takes to train this and you will never lose another deer
4) let other deer hunters in your area know you can do this to give the dog ample practice each season
5) love your dog

Author:  Fred R. [ Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tracking Training

First of all I'm not a pro...and I have never heard of diluting blood to lay a trail...I guess if you have a limited supply of blood it makes sense, but I personally don't dilute it. A dog that gets put on a real trail will eventually associate the blood and the specific deer that's leaving the blood trail...this is how they can track the deer with out blood or minimal in my opinion it doesn't hurt to drag the deer hide...

As far as teaching any dog to trail i guess you can do it, but there are some dogs with more drive than others, and that's what you need in a good trailing dog...i can teach a poodle to point and retrieve birds...but i'd rather hunt with a dog that has been bred to do it...

Author:  jim b [ Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tracking Training

I am not sure about the watered down blood but i am sure that it is ILLEGAL to move a road killed deer in Texas. [-x

Author:  Betty L. [ Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tracking Training

I guess that people can do it however they want. If it works for them, fine.

I'm not a pro either, but I dont see a lot of difference in tracking where a deer hide has been dragged along with blood along the track and the deer dead at the end of the trail.... isnt a deer made up of hide and deer?? If you use the idea that a deer is only tracking blood then why would you put a hot dog at the end of a trail?? A hot dog is a far cry from deer blood.

But, basically, whether you use rubber boots, watered down blood, regular blood, deer hide, or whatever, you are teaching the dog to track. When a dog is tracking a wounded deer, they are tracking not just the blood, but the smell of a wounded deer. So far as I know, there is no way for us to mimic that smell which has hormones emitted by the wounded deer, plus the blood, the smell of that particular deer, etc. So, basically, you have taught the dog to track what you put him on, not just blood. A well trained dog will track that deer thru lots of tracks of other animals. A dog can track a wounded or dead hog, if that is what the owner wants found. The dog wasnt trained tracking hog blood, but it can still find it. I know that lots of people, me included, have used beef blood for training, but it works even tho there isnt a bull at the end of the trail. I may put beef liver or a piece of deer meat at the end, but my dogs still track deer when asked.

The UBT says that you need to use special boots with deer feet and all kinds of things to make sure that the dog is tracking a deer, not you. I understand that and think that it might be the ideal way to train a dog, but there are lots of good tracking dogs out there who have never been trained with special boots or even rubber boots. One would think that the dog might be tracking your smell, but when you put that trained dog on a real trail, it will track the wounded animal, at least mine have.


Author:  jmc243 [ Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tracking Training

I do something simular but different.
when I hunt on our leased land, I usually do not gut my deer in the woods, I usually load my deer onto 4 wheeler and gut at farm house
immedialty after pulllin gut pile (without flipping deer over) there are at least 2 -3 gallons of blood inside the carcus/rib cage. with all that blood from each deer there is no need to dillute blood.
I use a cheap siphon pump purchased from harbor freight (clean and dry before using) ... 66418.html
to fill small (wide mouth) gatorade bottles with blood. The siphon hose makes sure I don't make a mess and get all the blood.
I freeze the gatorade bottles until needed
I also freeze deer legs (w/ fur)
I knife cuts through leg and drag through trail behind me (wearing rubber non scented boots) during the drag I also use a clean rag or cotton balls (with blood) which I drag on some branches, logs ect at different parts through the course. I leave the leg at the end of the practice trail. I usually mark the trails a little heavier in different spots throughout and at one spot towards the end to simualte what I see a lot in real tracking.

One small gatorade bottle gets me a minumum of 3 -4 - 100 yard practice trails.
I found that when my dog smells blood (w/ deer scent mix) and starts a blood trail he gets exited and his hair stands up, when he smells just a fresh or new deer trail and no blood he just gets excited. When real life tracking I know the exact moment my dog smells the first blood pot becazuse his entire mind mood and body changes and he becomes focused/locked in and he seems to be on a higher alertness at a much more frantic pace.

Additionally Blue has found every deer he has ever tracked since he was 3 or 4 months old... One deer wass found 300-400 yds away from where deer was known shot/blood started the next day after raining all night and we could not see any blood on the ground.

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